This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
COMMON NAMES. False Unicorn Root, Drooping Star Wort, etc.
MEDICINAL PART. The root.
Description. -- This is an herbaceous perennial plant, with a large bulbous root, from which arises a very smooth angular stem one or two feet in height. The cauline leaves are lanceolate, acute, and small; the radical leaves (or those springing from the root) are broader and from four to eight inches in length. The flowers are small, very numerous, greenish-white, disposed in long, terminal, nodding racemes, resembling plumes. The fruit is a capsule.
History. -- This plant is indigenous to the United States, and is abundant in some of the Western States, growing in woodlands, meadows, and moist situations, and flowering in June and July.
Properties and Uses. -- In large doses it is emetic, and when fresh, sialagogue. In doses of ten or fifteen grains of the powdered root, repeated three or four times a day, it has been found very beneficial in dyspepsia, loss of appetite, and for the removal of worms. It is beneficial in colic, and in atony of the generative organs. It is invaluable in uterine diseases, acting as a uterine tonic, and gradually removing abnormal conditions, while at the same time it imparts tone and vigor to the reproductive organs. Hence, it is much used in leucorrhoea, amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, and to remove the tendency to repeated and successive miscarriage. The plant will kill cattle feeding on it, and the decoction, insects, bugs, and lice.
Dose. -- Of the powder, from twenty to forty grains; of the decoction, from a wineglassful to a teacupful.
The Helonias Bullata, with purple flowers, and probably some other species possess similar medicinal virtues.